Former GhostWire: Tokyo creative director Ikumi Nakamura has officially launched her new studio, called Unseen.
Nakamura, who made a big splash at E3 2019 with her enigmatic and heartfelt approach, and previously worked on Okami and Bayonetta, left Tango Gameworks due to concerns over her health. “You can’t make games if you’re not healthy,” Nakamura said in March 2021. “I started wondering whether there wasn’t a way for me to make games while feeling better.” After leaving Tango Gameworks, she received a flood of job offers. She visited game studios around the world, seeing how different companies made games, and has used that experience in creating her own venture, Unseen.
“I decided that rather than having a company where games get made, I realised that I’d like to have a studio where artists get together and have fun making games together and where they can be creative,” Nakamura tells IGN in a recent interview.
Nakamura wants the studio to be a collective of diverse, cross-cultural staff with developers from Japan and around the world. “A mix of cultures can be a breeding ground for new ideas, which is the real joy of starting a new studio,” says Nakamura. This diversity will hopefully be reflected in the games the studio makes. “I want to make a game with characters that reflect real-life personalities and minorities, with an open-minded setting that represents multiple cultures,” says Nakamura.
Expect Unseen to also tackle of mix of projects. “I don’t want to think only in terms of video games,” says Nakamura. “I want to make new IP that can work as a variety of entertainment. For example, anime, education, and apparel. I’d like to make a game that can have an impact on those kinds of media too.”
But don’t expect Nakamura to abandon her beloved influences. “I like mysteries, horror films, zombies, the supernatural, and science fiction,” she says. “I find these genres fascinating, and I’m good at them, so I want to keep working on games related to these subjects.”